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2023: Appeal Court overturns Bwacha, Binani’s nullification

The Court of Appeal in Yola has overturned High Court rulings that declared the primaries that produced Emmanuel Bwacha and Aishatu Binani as All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidates for Taraba and Adamawa states, respectively, null and void.

The three-man panel led by the lead Justice, Tani Hassan, unanimously overturned the lower court’s judgments on Thursday and ordered that their names be resubmitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as APC governorship candidates in both states.

In September, Justice Simon Amobeda of a Federal High Court in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, sacked Bwacha after a petition by an ex-aspirant, David Kente.

The judge had argued that it is not possible for all the primary results to have the same handwriting while the returning officer declared that no primary was held in the state at the police headquarters due to security threats.

The former Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate later appealed the judgement, and alleged that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State is the major cause of the APC problems within the state.

Similarly, last month, a Federal High Court sitting in Yola nullified APC primary that produced Binani as the party’s governorship candidate for Adamawa.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka declared that the judgement was based on substantial evidence of non-compliance with the party guidelines and that of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, who came second during the exercise, had dragged Binani and INEC before the high court, alleging vote buying and illegal delegates list at the primary conducted on May 27, 2022.

However, the appellate court on Thursday set aside both judgements.

At the entrance of the court after the ruling, a handful of Binani supporters were seen chanting solidarity songs in celebration of the judgement as security operatives keep watch for any untoward behavior.

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